The beautiful agony of autoerotic asphyxiation has woefully deprived children of the ‘80s their INXS reunion tour, but also given them a gift that’s equally satisfying and capable of satiating pangs of adolescent nostalgia.
In an original series just picked up by Comedy Central and debuting last week on Atom (the network’s new home for online programming), a drunk and lonely retro-gamer named Neil gets a touch too enamored with the pixilated curves (can you really blame him?) on the fairies in a Legend of Zelda.
Before he can say, “Excuse me, Princess!” one hand’s wrapped around his controller and the game chord’s wrapped around his neck, cutting off a sufficient amount of oxygen to magically transport him to Hyrule, where he’s hungover and everyone thinks he’s Link.
And that, children, is how The Legend of Neil begins:
This story of an unlikely hero thrown into a situation beyond his control was not surprisingly conceived with the aid of alcohol, insomnia, and video games (but no autoerotica, or so I’m told).
“I was a bit tipsy with my roommate after a night out. He told me that he could beat the original Zelda in under an hour…So we cracked open a few beers and I watched.
I started thinking about what it would be like to be in the game, cracking jokes with my roommate, wondering what this creepy Old Man in a cave was doing with a wooden sword. And then I just opened my laptop and started drunkenly writing, The Legend of Neil.
In the morning it was still funny, so I shot the damn thing. I had my friend and fellow improviser, Tony Janning in my mind the whole time as Neil because he plays that gruff, a-hole type dude so well.”
That was over a year ago. The first episode originally debuted on VH1’s Acceptable TV in May of 2007 and then made the usual World Wide Web tour (College Humor, YouTube, etc.) while Sandeep pitched the series to online studios:
“So I pitched the show to SpikeTV and Atom (both viacom companies) and a few other places. We got offers from pretty much everyone we pitched to. Then Comedy Central stepped in and said they wanted to trump everyone else’s deal. And I said ‘sweet,’ Spike gave us their blessing and the rest is history… or present rather.”
The second of six scheduled episodes of the first season dropped yesterday. It’s been worth the wait.
The series continues its foul-mouthed homage to the original Legend, packed with enough references to delight anyone who owned a NES while still blazing its own irreverent path. The cheesy costumes, cheap sets, and unexpected, almost anachronistic dialogue make for real laughs in a seriously funny series, that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Once the internet gets a hold of this, Felicia Day might have some contention for being the internet’s most beloved Guild member. Definitely one to watch.